The Nation brought in the RuPay QSparc card a few years ago with an intent to make this a “One Nation, One Card” for everyone to use as a transit card and gradually over time will expand it into “The Card” for everyone in the country.
The detailed design of the card involves these two key aspects :-
- Enabling a stored value concept for offline transactions
- Enabling the concept of multiple service areas ( local data elements) in the card itself
The above 2 concepts were ideal for transit in india and this concept was introduced as “the Card for transit” to start with.
However, due to multiple reasons, this concept has not reached the desired objective/goals of the Government and it’s still languishing as a “one more limited application” card. The objective here of this exercise is to work within the limitations of the basic outline defined and expand the capabilities to expand the card usage and really make it a “one Nation One Card”.
The primary reasons for this card acceptability across the customers is :
- It’s a bank driven initiative : misses the card issuance simplicity with the KYC complications and applicability only in the specific transit operator.
- Another transit operator – To get another card , one needs to go through the KYC exercise once again.
It also comes to the basic hesitation with anyone – “One more card” and how many cards one need to carry ? With these aspects, a team of experts suggest that we may move forward with a single Card if few things are improved in the existing system. The following things may help to bring changes.
- Simplified issuance : why does it have to be at the operator premises, can’t anyone go online and configure any fare media, map a payment rail to it and start using this immediately ?
- Simplified acceptance at the transit operators – the system built for a true “One Nation One Card” concept. Take any card to any operator and use it
- Simplified Fare media : why only the NCMC card, the objective of the issuing bank is to acquire the customer and acquire transactions. Why does it have to be Card and not another fare media
- Simplified Customer and self care : instant and with full clarity on queries, preferably online.
While the above took care of the aspect of the commuter on-boarding with the Fare media and the acceptability at multiple transit operators, there needed a corresponding upgrade at the transit operators end also to ensure the above including inter operator transaction support and cross operator fare media issuance.
Thus with the above as the background, the authorities may upgrade to the existing AFCS design document detailed by CDAC and help the nation accept this card in totality.
We need the building of ecosystem for a wider, simpler acceptance and enabling a smoother experience at the operators :
- Why limit to only the NCMC card – we will tomorrow have additional Commuter ID fare media – Face / Bio / UPI QR etc.,
- Enabling inter- operators acceptability – tickets and passes
- Enabling easy ticket/pass issuance within the operator premises – how to ease travel for a traveller and journey planning for remote ticketing
- Enabling “blacklist” management with ease – today its possible only within the acquiring host network – not possible across acquiring hosts. Needs to be enabled for easier travel across networks and across fare media
- Customer Care/service: smooth, online and quick redressal
- Enabling ticket/pass purchase online / at multiple locations.
These are few things which may help us to bring the One Nation One Card into reality.